GeoHyd Lunch Seminar: Breaking the hydro-illogical cycle, socio-hydrogeology and collective action in groundwater management – the real-world example of Angas-Bremer irrigation district (South Australia)
Welcome to our GeoHyd Lunch Seminar Monday September 18th @ 12:15 in SALEN, ZEB building
Breaking the hydro-illogical cycle, socio-hydrogeology and collective action in groundwater management
– the real-world example of Angas-Bremer irrigation district (South Australia)
Speaker: Dr. Carlos Miraldo, Senior Teaching Fellow, UCL Australia (Water Resources Management)
The Angas-Bremer (AB) irrigation district (South Australia) is located at the lower end of the Murray-Darling Basin. It is economically supported by a thriving high-quality wine industry that relies on water availability for irrigation. This region is especially vulnerable to water crises because its water security depends on upstream management practices. Groundwater pumping in AB started in the 1950s, which lead to declining groundwater levels and rising groundwater salinities. AB faced two major groundwater crises, in the late 1970s and early 2000s (Millennium Drought), which drove the community to embrace innovative water-management approaches to survive. These approaches have been described as highly-successful and nation-leading, making the community more resilient to future water shortages. AB offers examples of integrated groundwater management (IGM) concepts, such as co-management, collective action, conjunctive water management, hydro-illogical cycle (HYC) and socio-hydrogeology.
We examine the innovative nature and success of AB’s example of community-driven IGM from the late 1970s, including breaking the HYC, and successful application of socio-hydrogeology. Interestingly, to the best of our knowledge, no HYC references in the scientific exist on a groundwater context, and socio-hydrogeology first appeared in the scientific literature in 2015. We collected and analyzed biophysical data from the 1950s to 2015, including groundwater pumping, artificial recharge, surface water usage and rainfall. These data were integrated with (i) a chronology of groundwater management practices, (ii) historical interaction between government agencies and local irrigators and (iii) qualitative data from interviews to key stakeholders in the region. From this we discuss the temporal evolution of the interaction between stakeholders – socio-hydrogeology. We show periods in which the HYC was broken, but also periods that seem to show a regression back to this illogical approach to water-related issues. We discuss AB as an example of collective action in groundwater management, including the main contributing factors.
About this seminar:
This seminar is offered by the Section for Geography and Hydrology at the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo.
Everyone is welcome, and especially students. Bring your lunch if you want to.